But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself."
Is Adam honest with God? Does he come clean?
Not exactly. He is hiding behind a symptom, nakedness. He neglects to mention the root cause, disobedience.
The nakedness was not a problem until Adam sinned against God.
Notice also that the fig leaves, Adam and Eve's attempt to deal with their sin problem, don't work. They've got the fig leaves on but apparently they still feel naked. Our hiding never really works, does it?
Adam and Eve were the first people to be afraid. They certainly weren't the last. We are afraid and so we hide. We are afraid that if people really knew us they would reject us, and rejection is so painful.
So we hide. We wear masks. We pretend. We get busy.
Most of the time, we hide and don't even know we are hiding. We can hide behind our job, behind a television set, behind golf, behind shopping and spending, behind alcohol, behind sarcasm, behind shyness, behind incessant talking, behind humor.
We are endlessly inventive when it comes to hiding. John Ortberg reveals the subtlety of hiding:
Who hides? The man who knows he needs to change his priorities, whose kids don't know him, who can't remember the last time he prayed in a meaningful way, whose every act is calculated to advance his success but who is so addicted to it that he refuses to see the truth or to allow others to see it - he's hiding.
Who hides? The woman who is filled with anger at her mother or her husband or her children, or at God because she does not have a husband or does not have the husband she wants. But hers is a frozen anger. She does not acknowledge it even to herself. It just leaks out of her and corrodes her relationships and her heart - she's hiding.
The couple who have attended church for years, whose life is friendly and respectable but whose marriage is dead, they have not known emotional intimacy for years, have not made love or laughed together for longer than they can remember - they're hiding.
(Love Beyond Reason, 189)
How do you hide? How do I hide?
It's ironic, it's sad: To let God know me and people know me is my greatest longing and yet it's my greatest fear. I long for a safe place, a safe place of community, where I can share my burdens and be accepted no matter what. I long for it and yet I'm afraid of it.
The more I rest in God's love for me the more I can risk letting others know me. And stop hiding.